JACKSON — Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death in teens, ahead of all types of injury, disease or violence.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, teens make mistakes and get distracted easily, especially if their friends are in the car.

In Ohio, teen drivers were involved in 132,163 traffic crashes from 2016 to 2018. An action on the part of the teen driver contributed to 68 percent of these crashes. Crashes where teen drivers were at fault resulted in 251 fatalities and 37,428 injuries.

In Jackson County, there have been 282 at-fault teen crashes from 2016-2018. That number is lower in Vinton County with the count at 90.

“Poor decisions while driving can stay with teens for the rest of their lives,” said Lt. M.A. Thompson, Jackson Post Commander. “It’s important for youthful drivers to be aware of their surroundings and focus on the task of driving.”

The leading causes of teen driver crashes were following too close, failure to yield and improper lane change.

Drug and/or alcohol impaired driving was a factor in two percent of at-fault teen driver crashes. However, in fatal crashes, 18 percent of at-fault teen drivers were reportedly impaired.

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